Battery Fingerprint Technologies

We are entering a new industrial revolution for which, instead of coal or oil, the driving technology will be clean energy and lithium-ion batteries. The Li-ion battery sector is currently a $30 billion industry that is expected to grow at a rate of more than 17% over the next 5 years, driven by applications in consumer electronics and, increasingly, electric vehicles. Along with an increase in the number of batteries, there is strong market pressure to improve the technology and produce longer-lasting and smaller batteries. This pressure led to Samsung pushing the technology too far, leading to the recent spate of Note 7 battery fires and resulting product recall that cost Samsung $5 billion and took $20 billion from their market value. Because the final destination of most Li-ion batteries is in consumer electronics or cars, even miniscule failure rates can be incredibly costly (35 explosions were reported out of 2.5 million shipped Samsung Note 7 devices), pointing to the need for improved quality control and understanding of failure mechanisms and operating conditions. Tesla is building the new Gigafactory in Nevada that by 2018 will produce more batteries annually than were produced worldwide in 2013. Every bit of battery improvement will directly translate into profits returned from the electric vehicle, portable electronics, cell phone, and alternative energy markets.

Currently the ability to test batteries non-invasively is limited to basic tests of physical characteristics such as mass, and voltage and resistance measurements. The internal workings of a battery cannot currently be assessed without destroying the battery itself. This is a huge roadblock to the development of more powerful devices. Our technology presents a major and unique step forward, allowing us to scan the inside of a battery using an MRI scanner.

The technique gives information about the state of charge of the battery (the remaining charge in the battery) and its health, and provides key indicators about the way materials are distributed inside the battery case. This is crucial information in any process involving new battery designs and new battery materials. 

For R&D groups in the battery industry our non-destructive tests provide new ways to observe the changes occurring to the chemistry of a battery as it is cycled in real time. Currently, when new materials are tested and the batteries fail during cycling, researchers cannot find out why without taking the cell apart. This process is dangerous and causes physical and chemical changes to the materials. For this reason, the real problems are often hidden. Researchers need ways to test batteries without opening them. This limitation has played a role in limiting the success of new battery materials. The inventor of the next enabling technology in the battery field will have a huge competitive advantage in the sales of the batteries themselves but also in the electronics or vehicles that use them. Technology that can aid this research is in strong demand and may be the indicator of new players of battery industry.

Whether you are looking for a more informative in situ diagnostic test for your sealed battery or you want a fast and simple testing instrument for your quality control department, we are here to help. Battery Fingerprint Technologies offers comprehensive tests for your newly invented electrochemical system as well as simple and fast quality control instruments.